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Walter RuckerWorking Group Co-Chair & Professor of African American Studies & History

Walter C. Rucker—Professor of African American Studies and History—is a specialist in early Atlantic African diaspora and African American history. His teaching and research focus on the generative nexus between slave resistance and culture. Rucker’s first book, The River Flows On: Black Resistance, Culture, and Identity Formation in Early America (2005), tracks diasporic African identity formation through examinations of resistance efforts in colonial British North America and the antebellum U.S. His second book, Gold Coast Diasporas: Identity, Culture, and Power (2015), analyzes the origin and reinvention of “Coromantee” and “(A)mina” as neo-African ethnicities in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century circum-Caribbean. The book assesses the socio-political scripts, cultural technologies, and public performances fashioned by enslaved Gold Coast Africans as part of an emerging and non-Western abolitionist discourse. In addition, he has published a range of book chapters and articles appearing in the Journal of Negro History, the Journal of Black Studies, and Black Scholar as well as two co-edited encyclopedia projects—The Encyclopedia of American Race Riots (2006) and The Encyclopedia of African American History (2010).

He is currently working on two book projects “The Birth of a Notion: A Century of Racial Violence and Mass Incarceration in America” and a multi-authored textbook entitled "Culture & Resistance: A Diasporic History of African Americans."